The beloved Pepe the Frog, who was co-opted by the alt-right as a hate symbol, is partly to blame for a recently rejected Apple iPhone game. The game titled “Build the Wall: The Game,” however, had plenty of other offensive characteristics as well.
Internet personality Baked Alaska, who is otherwise known as Timothy Treadstone, wrote in a tweet, “I had a free game coming out on iOS today for y’all, but Apple has banned it’s release due to a cartoon picture of Pepe The Frog
— Baked Alaska 3X™ (@bakedalaska) October 19, 2016
Treadstone told Breitbart.com, “It’s just a fun little game where you are building a wall to keep out illegal immigrants, and as the illegal immigrants climb over the wall there’s a timer, and if you run out of time you’re out.” He added, “Your quest is to build the highest wall.
Apple reportedly wrote to Treadstone that it would not accept his app because some of the content was “offensive” and “objectionable,” noting, “Specifically, your app includes Pepe the Frog character.”
Over the last few months, Pepe the Frog has become a hate symbol for the alt-right. The creator of the once-sad-frog-meme, Matt Furie wrote in an op-ed for TIME, “Before he got wrapped up in politics, Pepe was an inside-joke and a symbol for feeling sad or feeling good and many things in between.”
As Olivia Nuzzi reported for the Daily Beast, the meme became a symbol of Trump-ism and anti-semitism, sometimes sporting a swastika and other white supremacist symbols.
While Pepe is perhaps one part of what’s offensive about the app, given the meme’s new associations, a game dedicated to building a wall to keep out “illegal” immigrants seems offensive and objectionable with or without the sad frog.